One of those killed in army firing in Handwara town of Kashmir on Tuesday was Nayeem Bhat.
A budding cricketer, who attended a national level Under-19 cricket camp three years ago, Nayeem was a huge fan of Virat Kohli and Tendulkar and wanted to play for India.
In one of his last conversations, before falling victim to the army firing, Nayeem had expressed his desire just how badly he wanted to play for India.
Just before he died, he had conversed on Facebook with Congress leader and former journalist, Salman Nizami.
He had asked Nizami, “Sir kya main India team mein khel sakta hu? Woh Kashmiri Muslim ko pasand nahi karte.(Sir, can I ever play for India team? They don’t like Kashmiri Muslims.)”
To which, Nizami said that his apprehensions were wrong and there were many Muslim cricketers who played for India adding that he should keep playing with dedication.
Nizami told jantakareporter.com that Nayeem had once told him that along with Pervez Rasool, Kohli and Tendulkar were his idols.
Nizami wrote on his Facebook page, “My heart cries out for Nayeem when I reflect on our conversation and recall how he suferred emotionally alive and now died in army firing.”
A student of Government Degree College Handwara, Nayeem died on Tuesday when army opened fire to disperse a stone-pelting mob which was protesting against alleged molestation of a girl in Handwara.
The girl later denied being molested by Indian soldier.
In one picture shared on Facebook, Nayeem was seen shaking hands with a senior police officer before the start of a recent cricket tournament in the district.
“Nayeem was crazy about cricket but his journey has been cut short,” said Waseem Ahmad, a childhood friend of Nayeem was quoted by Indian Express.